Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. (John 20:29, KJV)
Over the last few years, one of my favourite life mottos has been “seeing is believing” – it’s been one of those perspectives that I’ve held designed to protect me from dashed hopes and in discernment against the more fanciful thoughts that people often bring your way. Seeing is believing is a way of saying “really? Show me the proof and then I’ll take your word”, although in some senses it can be sensible or even logical to take this approach, there are down sides when we use it with a sweeping hand.
If you’ve ever been around very young children, probably up until the age of 6 months you would have noticed something. When you leave the room, their eyes or head don’t follow you. Likewise, if you play peek-a-boo with someone in this age range. that gurgle of delight when your head or toy pops out is one of surprise “OH! When did that get there?” it seems to say. The reason for this is because they haven’t yet developed object permanence, for them an object exists only as long as they can see it. By the time they get to about 6 months, they’ll start screaming the house down as soon as mum’s out of eyesight and voilà! they’ve cottoned on to the fact that just because something can’t be seen it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
We can sometimes be like these children (OK, I mean I can) where our reality is dictated by what we can physically perceive instead of what we know and believe to be true and this can play havoc with our faith walk. My problem is that I’m wayyyyy too scientific and practical which often causes me to think of alternative reasons why things have taken place especially when they seem improbable. God’s really been dealing with me in this, He has stuffed my life so full of improbable testimonies that I’m forced to take a step back and question the limits of logic when it comes to the supernatural.
The mind is carnal – what this means is that it’s governed by our physical senses but it’s partner the heart isn’t. The heart relies on the mind to keep it in the loop regarding what’s happening out there in the ‘real world‘ but often the mind will feedback with a report which says exactly why what the heart is hoping and believing in just won’t work. I’m sure you can relate to this.
Let’s use the analogy of the spies going out to spy out the promised land. These spies represent our mind and the people who they are reporting back to represents our heart. What can we learn from this analogy?
- Proportionately our heart should be stronger than our mind, but it doesn’t always work like that.
- Joshua and Caleb were not enough of a positive voice to sway the people.
- The outcome of that bad report was that the people decided to accept the logic over the possibility and opportunity.
How does this relate to Seeing is Believing?
Seeing is believing is about outcome, it says that the reality of a thing must mean it exists. Believing is seeing says “I don’t need to see it in order to know it exists, my very belief makes it real.”
When you are waiting on a Word of God we have the power to choose which approach we will take. Seeing is Believing will create worry, anxiety and fear until that Word comes to pass whereas Believing is seeing will do the opposite.
There is so much research into the importance of belief but John 20:29 clearly shows the protective properties of belief through the use of the word ‘blessed’.
Strongs defines blessed as happy, fortunate and well-off and a dictionary glance at these words pulls out the following list and more:
Have you ever heard of the term ‘sick with worry’? That’s just to show how bad things can get when we choose to base our present reality on what we can physically see or the bad report that the mind gives to us. By choosing to believe first and see second, we create a reality where potential, possibility and opportunity are possible.
I just want to round up with John 20:29 again but transposing some of the words with what I picked up:
Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou have perceived me with your physical senses (remember he touched and saw him), you have confidence that I am real/true: fruitful, untroubled and joyous are they that have not perceived me with their physical senses, and yet have confidence that I am real/true.
How does your mind affect your ability to believe God’s Word in your life?